Winter is almost upon us and it’s no secret that we’re all looking for something to drive away thoughts of the bitter cold temperatures. If you are looking for a bit of a beach to dream about to fight off the winter blues, there are plenty of options right here in the United States. Keep reading for a breakdown of the top beaches in the U.S. to visit.
Orange Beach – Gulf Shores, Alabama
You might not think “beach” when you think of Alabama, but Orange Beach in Gulf Shores is one of the top beaches to visit in the U.S. for a reason! Situated in the Gulf of Mexico, this beach stretches 32 miles. You will find the soft, white sand is perfect for relaxing. Orange Beach is also home to a large artificial reef, which makes it a prime area of deep-sea fishing for those interested.
Coronado Beach – San Diego, California
Those on the West Coast can rejoice because Coronado Beach in San Diego is one of the best beaches in the U.S. There are actually four distinct areas of the beach, including Tidelands Park, Coronado City Beach, Glorietta Bay Park, and Centennial Park. With glittering gold sand and gentle waves, Coronado Beach is perfect for sunbathing and a whole assortment of watersports like swimming, body boarding, and stand up paddle boarding. Anyone wanting to scuba dive will need to look elsewhere, though as the activity is prohibited.
Hanakapiai Beach – Kauai, Hawaii
Another one of the top beaches in the U.S. is Hanakapiai Beach. Located in Kauai, this is just one of several Hawaiian beaches that fall on our list of top U.S. beaches. It’s only natural considering Hawaii boasts warm weather year-round and some of the world’s best natural scenery. What makes Hanakapiai Beach so special is that it’s only accessible by foot via a two-mile hike. The trip is definitely worth it though as you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Hanakapiai Falls. Swimmers beware though, there are strong currents and rough waters so this isn’t the ideal beach for swimming.
Nags Head Beach – Kittyhawk, North Carolina
Nags Head Beach in Kittyhawk is another one of the top U.S. beaches. This top North Carolina beach features 11 miles of sand and is perfect for an array of beach activities. You can swim, kayak, sunbathe, dolphin watch, and even just people watch. Plus, there are some shipwrecks in the area so you can rent or bring your own snorkeling equipment to check them out. You’ll also be close to nearby Jockey Ridge, which is the tallest dune in the eastern U.S.
Ocean City Beach – Ocean City, Maryland
Located in Maryland, Ocean City Beach is one of the top beaches in the United States because it has over 10 miles of nice sand and water. This beach is free to visit and is open from 6 am to 10 pm daily, with lifeguards on duty certain times of day. Plus, there’s even a section reserved just for surfers so you won’t need to worry about swimmers or anyone else getting in the way of you catching the perfect wave.
Hanauma Bay Beach Park – Oahu, Hawaii
Hanauma Bay Beach Park is another beach in Hawaii that populates our list of best beaches in the U.S. to visit this winter. Located in Oahu, since 1967, this area has been a protected marine life conservation area. It lines a curved bay and that shape makes it ideal for swimming and snorkeling because it’s protected from the rougher ocean currents. This beach does come with a cover charge—i.e. you have to pay to get in—but there are snack bars on site and you can rent snorkeling equipment there as well.
Ocracoke Beach – Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
Ocracoke Beach is another North Carolina beach that makes the list of top beaches in the U.S. Located in the ever-popular Outer Banks region, this beach boasts an impressive 16 miles of sand. You’ll have plenty of room to spread out with the whole family or group and sunbathe, fly kites, search for sea shells, and relax before taking to the waters to swim, kayak, stand up paddle board, and surf. Keep your eyes open because there’s even a band of wild horses that roam Ocracoke Island so you might catch a glimpse of them.
Miami Beach – Miami, Florida
Another one of the top beach destinations in the U.S. is Miami Beach. Not only is Miami a one of the top travel destinations in the U.S., but it also features a great beach—as the name implies. The temperatures are typically warm and while you might have to battle some tourists for a spot on the more popular area of the beach, it’s worth it. For the truly adventurous, check out the quieter Haulover Beach Park, but be warned that clothing is optional!
Kapalua Bay Beach – Maui, Hawaii
It doesn’t get much better than the gorgeous white sand beach of Kapalua Bay Beach. Yet another beach in Hawaii, this Maui gem features a white sand crescent that makes it great for snorkeling and swimming. You’ll need to take a lengthy plane ride to get there, but we promise the stunning views and pure white sand make it worth the trip!
Huntington State Beach – California
Known as “Surf City USA” since 1963, Huntington State Beach in California is one of the top beaches in the United States. Every year it hosts the U.S. Open of surfing and it’s also a great spot for swimming and relaxing on the large beach.
If you are looking to plan a trip to beat the winter blues, thinking about any of these beaches will do! With locations nestled in every corner of the country—and across the ocean!—this list of top beaches in the US has you covered.